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MOT Retest - What Happens When you Fail your MOT?

You will have been issued with a ‘refusal of an MOT test certificate’ (VT30) which indicates the ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’ failure items that need to be repaired. There are a number of options open to you which include leaving your vehicle at the test centre for repair or taking it away and bringing it back to the test centre for a partial retest (if applicable) when the repairs are complete.


What is a partial retest?

In some instances, your vehicle can be re-tested at a partial re-test rate or a reduced fee. Whether a partial re-test is applicable depends on where you have your vehicle repaired and how long you take to return it to the MOT centre that carried out the original test. There are three options;

1. Leave your vehicle for repair

If you leave the vehicle in our test centre and we repair and re-test within 10 working days, there is no re-test fee payable.

2. Take your vehicle away for repair and return it by the end of the next working day

If your current MOT certificate is still valid, you can drive your vehicle away to have any defects rectified by another company.

There is no fee if you bring your vehicle back for a partial retest before the end of the next working day (this only applies to certain failure items, a full list can be found here 

3. Take your vehicle away and return it for a retest within 10 working days

If you decide to drive (or have your vehicle recovered to) another garage for repairs and bring it back to the same test centre within 10 business days, you will only be charged for a partial retest fee.

In all other cases, the FULL MOT test fee will need to be paid again.


Can I drive my car after a failed MOT?

If your current MOT certificate is still valid or no ‘dangerous’ items were found, you can drive your car away to get it repaired.

Can I drive my car with a ‘dangerous’ defect?

You can receive penalty points, a £2,500 fine or even receive a ban if you drive a vehicle with a dangerous defect on the road, following an MOT failure.

Can you appeal an MOT?

If you think your vehicle should have passed its MOT (or if you think it should NOT have passed) you can appeal within 14 days (or 28 days if it passed) using the VT17 form which can be downloaded here 

The DVSA will respond in 5 days and if they decide to re-test your vehicle, you will need to repay for the new test before they discuss the inspection test with you. No repairs should be made whilst the appeal process is in progress.

Does the MOT guarantee my car is safe?

The MOT test certificate simply confirms that at the time of testing, the vehicle met the minimum acceptable safety and environmental standard for use on the road. It does not mean the vehicle is roadworthy until the certificate expires.

Does the MOT certificate guarantee the mileage it correct?

There is no requirement on the MOT tester to validate that the mileage is correct at the time of the MOT, but simply to record it. The vehicle’s odometer is not tested as part of an MOT.

Who regulates MOT centres?

MOT centres are regulated by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) which is a Government agency and part of the UK Department for Transport (DfT).


Want to know more about MOT's? Then visit our MOT Test Guide or you can Book an MOT or set up an MOT Reminder


We now offer a free MOT Reminder Service to take the hassle out of remembering your MOT and to avoid any last minute panics. Sign up for FREE at and we'll email you a month before your MOT is due to expire.

* Not all MOT ramps can accommodate a Motorhome, please check before travelling

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